I will never forget the surreal feeling the night Olivia died. It was like I was watching everything take place as I floated above my body. It had to be some other family going through this. It couldn’t possibly be real.

I’ve had that same surreal feeling many times over the last 4 years. It felt surreal when she was diagnosed with cancer. And even more surreal waking up the morning after she died. Our house felt so empty and our family so incomplete.

Today my life still feels kind of surreal. It’s days like today when it takes all of my strength just to get out of bed and function. This intense grief washes over me and my heart just hurts.

The reality is that it wouldn’t hurt so much if I didn’t love her so deeply. As we prepare for what would have been her 4th birthday on Friday I’m finding it even more difficult than the past two we’ve celebrated without her. Maybe it’s because this year it feels more real that she’s gone and she’s really not coming back. Maybe the surreal feeling is starting to pass.

Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research. We are asking that everyone who can donates $4 in honor of what would have been Olivia’s 4th birthday. For the cost of just one cup of coffee you can help to save the lives of countless children. Donate by clicking on this link: You can learn more by visiting our website.

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